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EXPOSED: Animal Equality discovers baby chicks being brutally killed on farms linked to Tesco

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The Torment of Chickens

Millions of chickens are raised on factory farms associated with Tesco each year. These birds endure immense suffering throughout their short lives, yet Tesco continues to shy away from addressing the worst abuses that these animals are forced to go through. Meanwhile, the likes of Waitrose, M&S, KFC, Nando's, Nestlé and Unilever have all committed to meaningful chicken welfare policies, putting Tesco to shame. Below are some of the shocking findings uncovered in Animal Equality’s recent investigation into farms operated by Moy Park – a known Tesco supplier.

Babies' Necks Crushed

Within multiple farms operated by a Tesco chicken supplier we discovered hundreds of baby chicks - deemed too small or too weak by farm workers - to be callously killed each week. They might not grow to be quite as big as their flockmates, so it’s considered more profitable to break their necks than provide them with food and water. Workers were seen using unusual methods to do this, such as by crushing the birds' necks on a bucket or a wellington boot. To make matters worse, this appears to be done ineffectively in some cases, causing chicks to writhe around for minutes after their necks have been painfully broken. Distressingly, these deaths weren't just anomolies. In one shed, a staggering 500 birds died in just one day.

Bred to Suffer

The birds that escape having their necks' crushed sadly don’t have a much better outcome. The breeds of chicken raised on farms linked to Tesco grow so unnaturally big and fast that they suffer from a series of serious health issues. Their enormous bodies put so much strain on their organs and legs that some die of heart attacks, while others become unable to walk.

Immensely Overcrowded

Tens of thousands of oversized chickens are crammed into each dark shed, leaving each bird with as little space as an A4 piece of paper. This lack of space is extremely psychologically stressful for these sensitive animals who, in the wild, would typically live in flocks of just 10 or 12 birds. As it is so painful for the chickens to stand and carry the burden of their heavy bodies, they spend most of their time laying on the damp waste-covered floor, leading to further health issues such as red, raw ammonia-burns on their breasts and feet.

Deprived of Water

In addition to the four farms covered on this page, Animal Equality carried out investigations into a further eight Moy Park farms in late 2019, the abhorrent findings of which recently featured in the Independent.

Not only were there further instances of baby chicks having their necks crushed, but water dispensers were routinely raised to heights that smaller birds were unable to reach. This was done with the heartless intention of killing birds that wouldn't grow as big as their flockmates, putting these poor beings through agony just to save a few pounds.

Responsible for raising and killing over 312 million birds each year, Moy Park is the source of nearly one-third of poultry products sold in the UK and is a known supplier of both Tesco and McDonald's.

The footage and images on this page were taken on farms operated by Moy Park - a known supplier of Tesco. These farms were also audited by Integra Food Secure, a third-party auditor providing services to Tesco at the time of the investigation.